For my charges 3rd birthday she was given a sweet shop (complete with real sweets!), she absolutely loved it, and as you could imagine the sweets got “sold” and eaten very quickly. When she next wanted to play with it she obviously wanted new sweets, and I could see that this could cause future problems, especially if she wanted to play with it just before a meal. So, as a surprise for her when she came home from nursery, I made her a little sweet shop into a proper shop complete with her own reusable sweets.

To make the sweets:

  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint
  • Glitter (optional)



1. Combine all the flour, salt and water and make into a dough.
2. Mould them into the shapes you want for your sweets. The ones I made were about the size of real sweets like Jelly Tots, Dolly Mixtures, Starburst and lollipops.
3. Place them in the oven on 100c and leave them for a few hours to slowly dry out. If they seeM a little damp on the underside when you take them out, just turn them over and put them back in for a while longer.
4. When you do take them out, leave them to cool for a while and them give them a nice coat of paint. If you want them to look like sweets it will be very time consuming, but they will look amazing when they’re done.

To make the shop:

  • 2 Cardboard boxes (one needs to fit inside the other to make a stand for the till and the other needs to be quite large)
  • Paint
  • Duck tape
  • Masking tape (optional)

1. Stand the big box up on its side, then with the 2 smaller flaps, fold them up to make a roof.  Using a lot of duck tape (and possibly using a 3rd arm), stick them together. This should make a nice slanting roof.
2. To make the stall inside the shop, take the smaller box and place it inside. I draped some spare bits of fabric we had lying around to brighten it up.
3. Once everything is taped into place, it’s time to paint. To create the straight lines on the roof and window I used masking tape, that once peeled away created the neat looking stripes.

If you are doing this as a surprise or as a family activity this is the perfect opportunity to get their creative juices flowing.

This activity will help with:

  • Fine motor skills – if they help make the sweets
  • Gross motor skills – for painting the shop
  • Expressing their creativity
  • Imaginative okay
  • Counting – if they are using money to play with in their shop

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